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Applying for British Citizenship: A ‘Need to Know’ Guide

Applying for British Citizenship: A ‘Need to Know’ Guide

Holders of British Citizenship are completely free from immigration restrictions, meaning they can spend as much time as they want outside of the country without risking losing their status. Before submitting an application, there are a number of key things to consider.

The Immigration Advice Service has a proud track record of securing approved British Citizenship applications. If want to know more about how to apply, contact us today on 0333 305 9375.

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Applying for British citizenship forms the final step in the UK immigration process.

If your application is approved, you will have the same rights as those who automatically acquire British citizenship at birth. This means you can apply for a British passport, vote in all referendums and elections, and spend as much time as you want outside of the country without being at risk of compromising your status.

Unless you have a claim to British citizenship by birth– and are therefore able to register as a British citizen- you will need to apply for naturalisation in one of the following two categories:

  • Naturalisation after five years in the UK;
  • Naturalisation after three years as the spouse of a British citizen.
Naturalisation after five years in the UK

It is important to note that under normal circumstances, an application can only be commenced after six years of continuous and lawful residence in the UK. This is because it takes five years to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which must then be held for a minimum of 12 months before applying.

The eligibility requirements for the five-year route are as follows:

  • You must be over 18 and of ‘sound mind’;
  • You must pass the ‘Good Character’ requirement- this involves demonstrating that you will honour and adhere to the rights and laws of the UK;
  • You must pass the Life in the UK Test and (if applicable) the English language exam;
  • You must intend to live in the UK or in Crown Service Abroad (working directly for a UK Government organisation), or be employed by either an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or a company established in the UK.

You will also need to satisfy the following residency requirements:

  • You must have been physically in the UK exactly five years before the submission of your application;
  • You must have been a continuous resident of the UK for at least 5 years, with no longer than 450 days of absence in this period;
  • You must have held ILR/EEA Permanent Residence/EU Settled Status during the last 12 months of the qualifying period;
  • During this 12 month period, you must not spend more than 90 days outside of the UK;
  • You must have not been in breach of the immigration rules at any point during the qualifying period.

You ought to receive a decision on your application within three to six months of its submission. However, an incomplete or incorrect application could cause significant delays. With this in mind, it is strongly advised that you seek the help of one of our OISC-accredited lawyers.

Get in contact today on 0333 305 9375 for immediate assistance.

Naturalisation after three years as the spouse of a British citizen

If you are applying for naturalisation as the spouse of a British citizen, the eligibility requirements are largely the same as those for the five-year category. The key difference is the shorter qualifying period of three years of continuous and lawful residence as opposed to five years.

The full residency requirements are as follows:

  • You must have been based in the UK at the beginning of the three-year period;
  • You must hold ILR on the date your application is submitted;
  • You must not have spent more than 270 days outside of the UK during the three-year period;
  • You must not have spent more than 90 days outside of the UK during the last 12 months of the qualifying period;
  • You must have not been in breach of the immigration rules at any point during the qualifying period.

 

 

 

 

 

apply for british citizenship

If your application for British Citizenship by Naturalisation is a success, you will be permitted to apply for a British passport. [Image: Unsplash]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

british flagBritish citizens can spend as much time as they want outside of the country without being at risk of compromising their status. [Image: Unsplash]

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